The Royal Symphonic Band Of The Belgian Guides

The Royal Band of the Belgian Guides Regiment consists of a Symphonnic Band composed of 84 strictly selected artists and a Trum¬peter Corps of 19 first class musicians. Due to its exceptional qualities, the band has incessantly fascinated many composers, ranging from Berlioz to Stravinsky, as well as large audiences in Belgium and abroad, since its foundation in 1832. This excellent symphonic band has always had as its principal vocation the defense of Belgian music and, especially of original Belgian wind band music. It pursuits this object by means of numerous concerts in Belgium and abroad as well as radio concerts and compact disc recordings.

Still today, famous foreign composers such as Roger Boutry and Derek Bourgeois and Belgian composers such as Frederic Devreese, François Glorieux and Robert Groslot call on the Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides to create their new compositions and record them on compact disc. The band’s origin dates back to 1832 when King Leopold I invited the conductor of the Band of the 1st Regiment of the Line, Jean Valentin Bender, to form a band, ‘The King’s Own’, attached to his personal guard. The successive illustrious conductors managed to increase constantly the quality of this band that soon was to be considered as one of the world’s foremost wind bands.

Successful concert tours in Canada, Spain, the USA, Thailand and Turkey, as well as numerous concerts in Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg and The Netherlands enlarged the band’s long list of achievements.

In November 2007 the ‘Royal Academy of Sciences, Literature and Arts of Belgium’ awarded the Arts Prize to the band.

Yves Segers is the conductor of the Guides Band since March 2008. He fervently continues the tradition perpetuated by his illustrious predecessors as is already illustrated by several remarkable recordings and numerous prestigious concerts often with renowned soloists.

In August 2011, the band had the privilege to be invited to perform at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow. As part of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Guides Band was invited to join this orchestra for a performance of the Triumphal and Funeral Symphony of Hector Berlioz on June 8, 2012.

In September 2013, the band had the privilege to perform the very first concert attended by the new King, H.M. King Philip and H.M. Queen Mathilde.

Francis Pieters

The Royal Band of the Belgian Guides (© Daniel Orban)